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-   -   [Halifax] Queen's Marque | 30 m | 10 fl | U/C (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=145372)

OldDartmouthMark Mar 10, 2017 7:22 PM

From CBC News:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s...ment-1.4018633

Quote:

Queen's Marque construction a royal pain for parking
Massive waterfront development takes away several downtown lots as business feels pinch

By Jerri Southcott, CBC News Posted: Mar 10, 2017 7:00 AM AT Last Updated: Mar 10, 2017 1:54 PM AT
The Queen's Marque development on the Halifax waterfront has taken several parking lots out of play.

The Queen's Marque development on the Halifax waterfront has taken several parking lots out of play. (CBC)

As Queen's Marque construction continues downtown, so do the challenges facing drivers trying to find a place to park.

The massive waterfront project, complete with a boutique hotel and luxury rentals, is going up next to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, taking the Queen's Landing and Cable Wharf parking lots out of commission.

Parking is now at even more of a premium on the waterfront.
Starting to affect business

Kitty-corner to the project sits Strange Adventures comic book and collectibles shop. Manager David Howlett said the ongoing construction is already taking a bite out of business.

"It's definitely been quieter," he said. "That was one of the only places people can park down here and now it's out of commission for years to come."

In fact, 150 parking spots disappeared when construction began and won't be replaced until at least 2020 when the development is expected to be completed.

Jennifer Angel, Waterfront Development's acting president and CEO, said there is a plan to create more than 300 underground parking spaces in the new development that will include a boutique hotel and luxury rentals. However, how many of those will be open to the public is not known yet.

"The specific allocation is to be determined but it will be a mix of commercial, residential and public," said Angel in an email.
Shrinking lots

Work on the massive waterfront project is expected to be completed by 2019. In the meantime, parking lots are not only disappearing, but also being cut down in size. Seasonal kiosks and buildings have been moved from what is now the construction site to neighbouring lots to make way for a new, public open-performance space and local small business opportunities.
David Howlett

David Howlett, manager of Strange Adventures Comics & Curiosities, said the construction is already affecting business. (CBC)

However, parking will still be limited.

"On the water side of the foundation lot, in behind the Waterfront Warehouse, a portion of that lot is being repurposed for this new public gathering space. But there still is a substantial amount of parking in and around that lot and in the neighbouring Salter lot," explains Angel.

Strange Adventures had just moved to its Lower Water Street location to get away from the Nova Centre development up the hill and the planned redevelopment of the building in which it was a tenant.

"So we thought we better get out now rather than searching for a location while we're under the gun," said Howlett. "So we moved to get away from the construction and now we're back where we started."
Fewer pedestrians

It isn't just the loss of parking that's causing him problems. As work has increased on the Queen's Marque project, Howlett said he's seen the number of pedestrians drastically reduced as people try to navigate temporary sidewalks on Lower Water Street.
Lower Water Street

Lower Water Street has become a little less welcoming for people on foot and drivers looking for a parking spot. (CBC)

The Waterfront Development Corporation administers parking in the area.

There are plans in the works for a floating pedestrian boardwalk this spring and summer.

Just how Waterfront Development plans to deal with the onslaught of tourists expected for Canada 150 celebrations, such as the Tall Ships Festival this summer, is still up in the air. However, parking on the waterfront will not be an option.

"We're beginning early talking about alternative park and ride locations, we're talking to the ferries. So we will be developing a bit of a transportation program around the event itself. There won't be on-site parking available at all during that event," said Angel.

hokus83 Mar 10, 2017 7:50 PM

Anyone have those photos handy of how vacant those parking spots were 90% of the time

Keith P. Mar 10, 2017 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hokus83 (Post 7736558)
Anyone have those photos handy of how vacant those parking spots were 90% of the time

That parking lot was almost always full whenever I went to use it. Perhaps 90% of the spaces were empty at 4:00AM. Otherwise, it was very busy.

hokus83 Mar 11, 2017 5:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith P. (Post 7736757)
That parking lot was almost always full whenever I went to use it. Perhaps 90% of the spaces were empty at 4:00AM. Otherwise, it was very busy.

You go downtown once every 10 years from the sounds of your posts

someone123 Mar 11, 2017 7:41 PM

While I do have some sympathy for businesses affected by the construction (Strange Adventures was displaced by the Dillon), it's pretty obvious that developing prime land like this is a big win for the downtown area as a whole, and avoiding redevelopment like this isn't a viable long term option.

MonctonRad Mar 11, 2017 9:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 7733038)
Here is a rendering of the floating boardwalk:

https://i.cbc.ca/1.3970660.148649211...ing-bridge.jpg
Source

I imagine the floating boardwalk will become a bit of a tourist attraction in it's own right. I'll certainly check it out this summer. :)

I wonder how it'll hold up in stormy weather though........

Keith P. Mar 11, 2017 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hokus83 (Post 7737318)
You go downtown once every 10 years from the sounds of your posts

And from your posts you sound like.... oh, never mind, not worth it. :koko:

bluenoser Mar 11, 2017 11:58 PM

In spite of the disruptions, surely everyone can agree that it's better to have some sort of development here than a surface parking lot.

(Well, maybe not everyone... OPINION: Queen’s Marque a blight on the waterfront)

bluenoser Mar 12, 2017 12:06 AM

On a related note: apparently a little train/bus is being brought in to supplement the floating bridge.

Halifax waterfront getting train, bridge

someone123 Mar 12, 2017 12:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluenoser (Post 7737556)
In spite of the disruptions, surely everyone can agree that it's better to have some sort of development here than a surface parking lot.

(Well, maybe not everyone... OPINION: Queen’s Marque a blight on the waterfront)

One blind spot in opinions like this is that people are going to use the new building and public space too, probably more than some of the buildings with views that will be blocked. The story isn't just about losing those old views, there's a trade-off between losing some views and getting a whole bunch of new stuff and new views. The trade-off seems hugely positive to me given that this site used to be a parking lot and the new development has a major public component.

Another consideration is the urban fabric. There was none on this site before. It was just a hole. And Lower Water Street consequently did not have a complete streetscape. It's not all about water views, which will just be moved down a block anyway. Why wouldn't we want more city and while preserving similar water views from some buildings?

fenwick16 Mar 12, 2017 1:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 7529188)
Here's the development (with residential portion highlighted in this rendering):

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CnqjTYhXgAAGemh.jpg:large

Source

Is it just me, or do others think this is a huge monolithic building? In terms of its streetwall width, I can only think of Scotia Square and the Nova Centre as being similar in size.

I really want this to turn out well, and I just hope that it won't distract from the attraction that the boardwalk has become, with views of both the downtown buildings and harbour. Although the boardwalk will extend around the building on the harbour side, will there be enough of interest in Queen's Marque for people to want to make the trek around it when it is finished in 3 years? I assume the HMCS Sackville will be tied up next to one of its piers, which will be an attraction.

Keith P. Mar 12, 2017 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fenwick16 (Post 7737616)
Is it just me, or do others think this is a huge monolithic building? In terms of its streetwall width, I can only think of Scotia Square and the Nova Centre as being similar in size.

I really want this to turn out well, and I just hope that it won't distract from the attraction that the boardwalk has become, with views of both the downtown buildings and harbour. Although the boardwalk will extend around the building on the harbour side, will there be enough of interest in Queen's Marque for people to want to make the trek around it when it is finished in 3 years? I assume the HMCS Sackville will be tied up next to one of its piers, which will be an attraction.


None of the renderings I have seen make me feel that this is going to be a great building. It looks to big for, and and too close to, that part of Water St and doesn't seem to suit the space. Time will tell I guess. I find it difficult to understand the WDC and how they have managed to screw up the waterfront so badly when starting with a clean sheet of paper. For over 40 years they have managed to keep surface parking lots in place and the things that were built were either tacky, like the Disneyfied touristy parts with the t-shirt shacks and replica heritage, or totally unremarkable. Looking at it as a whole, it is a mess.

fenwick16 Mar 12, 2017 1:37 PM

The width of Queen's Marque along Lower Water Street will be about 300 feet wide, almost as wide as the Nova Centre along Argyle Street. One good feature is that the developers have incorporated pedestrian gates at street level, so that people can take shortcuts through the building (instead of walking all the way around) - http://www.halifax.ca/boardscom/drc/...reet-8.2.1.pdf. On the negative side, it seems that the parking ramp is so close to Lower Water Street that pedestrians will be constantly dodging cars exiting the parking garage.

And on a somewhat trivial point, it will block some great skyline pictures from the harbour.

someone123 Mar 12, 2017 4:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fenwick16 (Post 7737893)
The width of Queen's Marque along Lower Water Street will be about 300 feet wide, almost as wide as the Nova Centre along Argyle Street. One good feature is that the developers have incorporated pedestrian gates at street level, so that people can take shortcuts through the building (instead of walking all the way around) - http://www.halifax.ca/boardscom/drc/...reet-8.2.1.pdf. On the negative side, it seems that the parking ramp is so close to Lower Water Street that pedestrians will be constantly dodging cars exiting the parking garage.

And on a somewhat trivial point, it will block some great skyline pictures from the harbour.

To me it seems like everything will just come down to how successful the building itself is. If it turns out to be attractive, it won't matter so much that it blocks other buildings. If the pedestrian paths and public space are successful, it will be better than the parking lot that was there and will knit the area together more rather than cutting things off from each other.

The Nova Centre is similar.

someone123 Mar 12, 2017 5:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith P. (Post 7737873)
For over 40 years they have managed to keep surface parking lots in place and the things that were built were either tacky, like the Disneyfied touristy parts with the t-shirt shacks and replica heritage, or totally unremarkable. Looking at it as a whole, it is a mess.

For many years they argued that there was no demand for new development along the waterfront, then Bishop's Landing happened around 2000. Obviously there has been demand for more development since then since there has been tons of construction nearby but there's been a 15 year drought.

OldDartmouthMark Mar 13, 2017 4:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 7738004)
To me it seems like everything will just come down to how successful the building itself is. If it turns out to be attractive, it won't matter so much that it blocks other buildings. If the pedestrian paths and public space are successful, it will be better than the parking lot that was there and will knit the area together more rather than cutting things off from each other.

The Nova Centre is similar.

Pretty much agree.

I'm on the fence about the building itself. It appears that the cladding materials will be of higher quality, but it'll all come down to how it presents when finished. I wouldn't call the overall design beautiful or inspiring, but it is at least 'interesting'.

The most important point is how it will relate to the public.

From the concept, it looks like reasonable thought has been given to how it will fit into its environment and provide public interaction. There are passes through the 'legs' of the building to let pedestrians continue along the boardwalk without walking around each section. The "Rise Again" section appears to be created almost entirely for public use, and the main building looks like it will have ground floor retail for restaurants, cafés, shops, etc. So it might well be a place where people will want to congregate. These are currently the types of areas along the waterfront that are busiest (i.e. Bishop's Landing and the ferry terminal/historic properties areas).

The residential/hotel aspect presents a concern in that it might limit public events in the area, such as concerts/entertainment, through noise complaints from residents or hotel guests.

This isn't exactly the same, but the Marriott Harbourfront closed the Fife and Drum pub a few years back, at least partially due to noise complaints from hotel guests. It was actually a good place to see a band and have a couple of 'pops' and some grub - busy but not as chaotic as the Lower Deck can be on a weekend. Additionally, the hotel was reconfigured to focus more on business clientele rather than private guests and public space, resulting in the harbour-facing restaurant (which was a nice place to go for brunch with nice views of the harbour) being replaced by conference space and the elimination of outdoor patios. The restaurant is now centrally located and far less attractive. In my opinion, the hotel has become less welcoming to the public and more focused on its customers. While not an unreasonable expectation for a private business, this example shows how direction can be changed by a private concern to transform a space to be less available to the public than originally intended. Maybe not a huge concern, but since the harbour boardwalk area is Halifax's 'crown jewel', I think every effort should be made to keep a certain part of it accessible, attractive, and welcoming for public use. Handing its control over to a private concern can cause the opposite to happen.

In the case of Queen's Marque, it's not that the surface parking lot was any great use of land, but at least it did allow for occasional festival usage, etc. There is still space for events such as this around the Waterfront Warehouse area, but one has to wonder how long it will be before it becomes developed and therefore more limited in potential usage.

Overall, as long as a dead zone is not created, such as the one that starts at the Marriott Harbourfront and continues to the casino, then I'm OK with it.

The Purdy's Wharf area could have so much potential but offers very little in terms of public interaction (ironic, since PW are probably the most attractive buildings on the waterfront) and the hotel and casino don't offer much more on the waterside, and thus that area doesn't see anywhere near the usage that the more southerly areas of the waterfront have.

Hopefully the QM project will be successful in engaging the public. :2cents:

terrynorthend Mar 13, 2017 6:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark (Post 7738910)
Pretty much agree.

I'm on the fence about the building itself. It appears that the cladding materials will be of higher quality, but it'll all come down to how it presents when finished. I wouldn't call the overall design beautiful or inspiring, but it is at least 'interesting'.

The most important point is how it will relate to the public.

From the concept, it looks like reasonable thought has been given to how it will fit into its environment and provide public interaction. There are passes through the 'legs' of the building to let pedestrians continue along the boardwalk without walking around each section. The "Rise Again" section appears to be created almost entirely for public use, and the main building looks like it will have ground floor retail for restaurants, cafés, shops, etc. So it might well be a place where people will want to congregate. These are currently the types of areas along the waterfront that are busiest (i.e. Bishop's Landing and the ferry terminal/historic properties areas).

The residential/hotel aspect presents a concern in that it might limit public events in the area, such as concerts/entertainment, through noise complaints from residents or hotel guests.

This isn't exactly the same, but the Marriott Harbourfront closed the Fife and Drum pub a few years back, at least partially due to noise complaints from hotel guests. It was actually a good place to see a band and have a couple of 'pops' and some grub - busy but not as chaotic as the Lower Deck can be on a weekend. Additionally, the hotel was reconfigured to focus more on business clientele rather than private guests and public space, resulting in the harbour-facing restaurant (which was a nice place to go for brunch with nice views of the harbour) being replaced by conference space and the elimination of outdoor patios. The restaurant is now centrally located and far less attractive. In my opinion, the hotel has become less welcoming to the public and more focused on its customers. While not an unreasonable expectation for a private business, this example shows how direction can be changed by a private concern to transform a space to be less available to the public than originally intended. Maybe not a huge concern, but since the harbour boardwalk area is Halifax's 'crown jewel', I think every effort should be made to keep a certain part of it accessible, attractive, and welcoming for public use. Handing its control over to a private concern can cause the opposite to happen.

In the case of Queen's Marque, it's not that the surface parking lot was any great use of land, but at least it did allow for occasional festival usage, etc. There is still space for events such as this around the Waterfront Warehouse area, but one has to wonder how long it will be before it becomes developed and therefore more limited in potential usage.

Overall, as long as a dead zone is not created, such as the one that starts at the Marriott Harbourfront and continues to the casino, then I'm OK with it.

The Purdy's Wharf area could have so much potential but offers very little in terms of public interaction (ironic, since PW are probably the most attractive buildings on the waterfront) and the hotel and casino don't offer much more on the waterside, and thus that area doesn't see anywhere near the usage that the more southerly areas of the waterfront have.

Hopefully the QM project will be successful in engaging the public. :2cents:

Well put Mark. I hadn't given the Marriott transformation much thought, but you've articulated it well, and I've often lamented the under-use of Purdy's Wharf (actual). 100% agree.

DT Hfx Mar 13, 2017 11:44 PM

The Armour Group has put a lot of thought into their design planning for this project with a view to making it a popular public gathering place. They are not looking to cut costs by using cheap materials plus we will be rid of two surface parking lots as a bonus. I feel any inconvenience caused by great projects should be stoically endured with a smile.

Jonovision Mar 17, 2017 11:48 PM

There is now a pile driver on site.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3867/3...d50fafbe_h.jpg20170316_161248 by Jonovision23, on Flickr

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2896/3...a6f01c07_h.jpg20170316_161337_HDR by Jonovision23, on Flickr

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3753/3...3d159f7c_h.jpg20170316_161256_HDR by Jonovision23, on Flickr

fenwick16 Mar 18, 2017 2:48 AM

I still find it surprising that this is moving ahead. Initially I thought it was too ambitious a project and probably wouldn't be built.


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